6.6/10
31,139
236 user 142 critic

The Howling (1981)

R | | Horror | 10 April 1981 (USA)
Trailer
1:35 | Trailer
After a bizarre and near deadly encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director:

Joe Dante

Writers:

Gary Brandner (based on the novel by), John Sayles (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dee Wallace ... Karen White
Patrick Macnee ... Dr. George Waggner
Dennis Dugan ... Chris
Christopher Stone ... R. William 'Bill' Neill
Belinda Balaski ... Terry Fisher
Kevin McCarthy ... Fred Francis
John Carradine ... Erle Kenton
Slim Pickens ... Sam Newfield
Elisabeth Brooks ... Marsha
Robert Picardo ... Eddie
Margie Impert Margie Impert ... Donna
Noble Willingham ... Charlie Barton
James Murtaugh ... Jerry Warren
James MacKrell James MacKrell ... Lew Landers (as Jim McKrell)
Kenneth Tobey ... Older Cop
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Storyline

In a red light district, newswoman Karen White is bugged by the police, investigating serial killer Eddie Quist, who has been molesting her through phone calls. After police officers find them in a peep-show cabin and shoot Eddie, Karen becomes emotionally disturbed and loses her memory. Hoping to conquer her inner demons, she heads for the Colony, a secluded retreat where the creepy residents are rather too eager to make her feel at home. There also seems to be a bizarre connection between Eddie Quist and this supposedly safe haven. And when, after nights of being tormented by unearthly cries, Karen ventures into the forest and makes a terrifying discovery. Written by Tim Kretschmann <Tim.K@VirComm.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When the howling starts... the horror begins! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The coroner tells a story about a "case" named Stuart Walker. Stuart Walker was the director of Werewolf of London (1935), the first Hollywood werewolf movie of the sound era. See more »

Goofs

When Karen returns to lay in bed after waking up her husband, her head changes position in two continuous shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. George Waggner: Repression. Repression is the father of neurosis, of self-hatred. Now, stress results when we fight against our impulses. We've all heard people talk about animal magnetism, the natural man. the noble savage, as if we'd lost something valuable in our long evolution into civilized human beings. Now there's a good reason for this.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits roll over TV static and features dialogue snippets from the movie. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original uncut Fake Porn Movie (parts of it can be seen in the sex shop scene) was supposed to be included on the UK DVD by Momentum. But the BBFC rejected it due to "serious concerns about the portrayal of sexual violence". See more »

Connections

References The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Transformation
(uncredited)
Composed by Pino Donaggio
Conducted by Natale Massara
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User Reviews

Listen to the critics, it's actually one of the best
3 September 2003 | by Krug StilloSee all my reviews

Yes! For a change in the horror genre this film does deserve all of the praise, hype, cult following and respect it receives, even from the critics. I would go so far as to even admit that I find this Joe (Gremlins, Innerspace, The 'burbs, Matinee, Small soldiers) Dante flick one of his best crafted works, followed by PIRANHA.

It's always been a toss up between THE HOWLING and AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON for the most effective lycanthropy picture of postmodern horror cinema (anything since Psycho). Where John Landis used comedy more blatantly, the humour in THE HOWLING is far more satirical and subversive. Undoubtedly, Rob Bottin's effects steal the show as well as they did for John Carpenter's THE THING. The transformation of Eddie Quist, especially on the revamped DVD is something to behold.

For anyone with a passing interest in the horror genre this is a film to include on that 'TO SEE' list. For fans of werewolf movies this should go on that 'MUST SEE' list.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

10 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Howling See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$17,985,893

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,985,893
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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